Community Planning and Building
The Community Planning and Building Department has two divisions. For permits and issues dealing with land use (such as zoning regulations, the historic district, site plans, or subdivisions) and site improvements (like site grading, signs, fences, or accessory structures) please go to the Planning Services Division page in this website. For structural, mechanical, or utility work associated with new construction or additions please go to the Building Services Division page.
What does the Planning Services Division do?
The Planning Services Division is responsible for creating and implementing the City’s Comprehensive Plan goals and policies as well as developing the City’s zoning and subdivision regulations, flooding, erosion and sediment control regulations, and using them in a fair and equitable manner. Application of these goals and regulations must be done following the wishes of the community, respecting the rights of property owners, and as prescribed by the Code of Virginia. The land use regulations were significantly revised and updated in 2013 and are found in the City’s Unified Development Ordinance (PDF). A City is as strong as its weakest links. Planning Division staff also assists its low- and moderate-income City residents to improve the quality of their housing and promotes Fair Housing, works to prevent homelessness, and promotes and maintains affordable housing opportunities. Overseeing planning staff and approving its work is the City Council, Planning Commission, Architectural Review Board, Board of Zoning Appeals, and the Housing Action Committee.
What does the Building Services Division do?
The Building Services Division administers the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code and Property Maintenance Code to ensure that the health, welfare, and safety of the City’s residents and visitors are protected. Ensuring fair application of these codes is the role of the City Council and the Building Code Board of Appeals.
What is the basis of the goals, policies, and ordinances governing Planning and Building activities?
Adopted in 2017, the City Council has a 20-year vision statement:
The people of Fredericksburg are building a 21st century urban center on the foundation of this historic city at the fall line of the Rappahannock River. Fredericksburg is the hub of regional economic activity, a city with a multicultural population and thriving cultural scene, a place that works for everyone, and a community where the people are writing the next chapters of Fredericksburg’s history.
In addition, to this vision statement, Council has established specific end states for the City:
- be an employment epicenter,
- have effective public services,
- have distinct and linked neighborhoods,
- be a place where learning is a way of life,
- be a leader in historic preservation,
- build a community through cultural vibrancy,
- have a green and clean environment, and
- implement cutting edge transportation solutions
The City’s Comprehensive Plan (PDF) contains the Goals, Policies, and Initiatives to achieve the vision and end states stated above. In 2015, these elements and Future Land Use Map of the Comprehensive Plan were updated and readopted. This new Comprehensive Plan called for 10 Small Area Plans to tailor planning policies for each of the City’s neighborhood AREA PLAN MAP (PDF). See the Small Area Plans page to get an update on these planning projects.
Wastewater Utility Projects (2022)
The City’s Department of Public Works Wastewater Division currently has various types of projects that are underway and in different phases. These projects involve: the replacement, expansion, and upgrade of existing infrastructure; assessment and analysis of existing infrastructure; and the planning and development of future projects.
Today, the Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) is permitted at 4.5 million gallons per day (mgd) and treats an annual average daily flow of 2.8 mgd. At peak times, the system receives flows greater than its current permitted volume, which is also carried by the sanitary sewer conveyance system. While the City will continue to support entitled growth, large scale projects not currently entitled may be required to follow a phased project approach in the near term. This approach will enable the historic investment detailed here to unfold, ensuring City build out in the next several decades can live City Council’s desired future community growth goals.
Status of Land Use Annual Report (Planning, Building, and Public Infrastructure)
The Status of Land Use, Annual Report outlines City-wide efforts to implement the adopted Comprehensive Plan and provides statistics on initiatives and activities performed during each fiscal year.
Alphabetical Listing of all City Boards and Commissions: